Categorized | 2014, May 2014, Tips & Tricks

The Impact Position

By: Adam Taylor

In this edition of Golf Indonesia, l will be focusing on The Impact Position, continuing my series on the principals of a good golf swing. This is the next step following the grip, setup and alignment, takeaway, and the ‘L’ position.

The most frustrating part of the game for most amateur golfers is their contact with the ball. Results vary from hitting the ground with the club before the ball, or thinning/topping the ball. From chipping to the full swing to bunkers, it affects every area of the game.

Comon Position

Comon Position

A common position for most golfers is to have their hands behind the club-face at impact which they will repeat for most shots. This causes the club too either drop into the ground before the ball, or push the body up, to let the club come through without hitting the ground and top the ball. A flip or scooping action will occur from impact and into the early follow through, resulting in a high-ball flight, lack of distance, and poor control over the ball.

The main causes leading up to incorrect contact are a poor grip, which leads to the arm and club remaining too straight during the takeaway and backswing. This limited use of the wrists in the takeaway causes the wrists to become too active at impact and in the early follow through.

One of the most basic fundamental of golf is too make contact with the ball first. This is achieved by making a slight downward strike on the ball by having the hands in front of the club-face as it makes contact with the ball, in conjunction with the rotation of the body. The breaking of the wrists during the backswing allows this to take place.

Chipping

Chipping

Chipping – One of the best ways to start improving your contact for all shots is to practise getting your hands in front of the ball in your chip shots first. It’s also imperative that your hips are in front of your arms throughout the down swing to help achieve this position. The chipping swing is also the base of the fuller swings, so you are working on two areas at the same time.

Fuller Swings – The setup has changed for the longer swings but the impact position is the same. Improve your longer swing contact by setting up your body for a full swing but only perform half swings. This helps to train the brain to want to keep the hands in front at impact, so it will reproduce this automatically when you are making full swings in practise and on the course.

Left: Fuller Swings, Right: Green Side Bunker Shots

Left: Fuller Swings, Right: Green Side Bunker Shots

Green Side Bunker Shots – Even though are goal is to make contact with the sand first, the impact position should still remain very similar to the chip shots and fuller swings. The ball position should be moved slightly closer to the left foot to make it easier to hit the sand first, and in order to do this effectively and more consistently the hands must stay slightly in front of the club face at impact. This will be the ultimate test of your impact position. If you can get the ball out of the bunker consistently, your results from the grass will improve also.

Early Follow Through

Early Follow Through

Early Follow Through – When your impact position starts to improve, your follow through will automatically start to improve also. Your arms will become more extended and remain straighter with the club for longer, and your hands will be further from your body, therefore eliminating that ‘chicken wing’ look. Once again you can really focus on this area by improving your chipping swing first.

To fast track your improvement, try performing your chipping shots with your right hand and left hand individually, making sure you are keeping your hands in front at impact.

If you would like any further information about this article, or to have a personal lesson with me, please contact Ancora Golf Institute @ Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

About Adam Taylor

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Adam graduated from the Australian PGA as a full member professional with a Diploma in Golf Instruction in 2005. Having been based at Royale Jakarta Golf Club for the past two years, Adam has devoted his passion and knowledge of the game to improving players of all levels and ages. His instructional techniques have featured in several television golf programs and golf magazines. He looks forward to improving your game through Golf Indonesia Magazine and at Ancora Golf Institute, Royale Jakarta.

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